After several letters and photos, we have finally been allowed to have a parking bay outside. This has made such a difference. We live on a busy road and opposite a large secondary school, so parking is impossible even at the weekends. Transport usually have to park miles up the road and are far from happy when they come to pick mum up for her club or appointments. But, yes you have guessed, it only took a day or two before people started parking in the space. I completely understand it is not ‘ours’ as such and anyone with a blue badge can use it, as they should if it helps, but what about those who do not have a blue badge.
Sunday, I came out to find a large BMW pulling into the space. I pointed out calmly that he was parking in a disabled bay and he immediately became angry, shouting that the bay was for anyone to use and that he had a blue badge. Well display it then, I suggested. Of course, he didn’t have one, just the ‘clock’ part. I said that if he had dropped his aunt off round the corner, as he claimed, then he would understand the difficulties faced by disabled people and would also be fully aware of the rules. There were lots of spaces round the corner where he could still park and no parking restrictions. He again argued that the bay was for anyone with a blue badge and it didn’t just belong to me and I totally agreed reminding him at the same time that he didn’t actually have one. I could not believe his cheek. He did finally move away once I started to take a photo of the car but I shouldn’t have the added stress of having to ask people who aren’t disabled to leave the space for those who are. Then of course Monday morning we had all the parents stopping there.
No doubt people think it unfair that we should have a bay at all, but they really have no idea how much harder it is to get out of the house and in a car when you are disabled or in a wheelchair – lifting it up and down steps and kerbs, manoeuvring it through doorways and gates and around obstacles, trying to stop it running away from you whilst making sure you haven’t forgotten anything, or just pushing the thing. Having a parking space near to hand is such a great help. When non-disabled people park in it there is nothing you can do as it is just an advisory marking – how ridiculous is that?! I could have just chalked something on the road myself if it means nothing. If you are going to give someone the benefit of a parking bay, and recognise that there is a valid need, at least make it enforceable in some way?